What To Know Before You Get A Lash Lift

Beauty trends come and go, but there has been at least one constant for nearly 5,000 years: long, luscious eyelashes. The Ancient Egyptians used various ointments and primitive cosmetic tools to elongate and flatter their eyelashes, setting a standard that would continue into the modern era and beyond (via The Lash Lounge). These days, we have several methods at our disposal for achieving flawless lashes, from extensions to lash curlers to plain old mascara. In 2018, mascara was officially taken over in popularity by a relatively new beauty procedure called a lash lift (via Healthline).

A lash lift is a process of lifting and lengthening the lashes from the root. The semi-permanent procedure doesn't involve eyelash extensions or the prolonged use of chemicals to achieve the final look, which features eyes that look brighter and more open. Brazilian Beauty explains that lash lifts are particularly useful for people whose natural eyelashes tend to lie flat or sit at a downward angle, which can make the lashes appear shorter. According to Healthline, a lash lift is a natural and generally safe procedure. However, there are still a few things you should know about this beauty treatment before you book yourself in for a lift.

How does a lash lift work?

The first thing to know about a lash lift is how it differs from lash extensions. A lash lift doesn't add false lashes to your eyes; it works with your natural lashes to make them look longer (via Beauty Stack). On the other hand, lash extensions attach artificial lashes to your real lashes with glue. Both result in a bold eyelash look, though a lash lift tends to be more affordable and lasts longer. In general, expect to pay around $150 for a lash lift, though this varies depending on where you live and which salon you use.

A lash lift is applied by a qualified beauty technician, which involves placing a silicone mold on the eyelid and then curling each individual lash into the mold (via HuffPost). A chemical perm solution is then added to the lashes and left to absorb, followed by a setting solution. The process ends with the application of an oil solution to condition the lashes. On average, a lash lift lasts around six weeks (via PMUHub). This varies from person to person, but it generally negates the need to apply mascara for at least four weeks. When applied properly with a qualified and experienced professional, a lash lift is safe and effective. However, potential side effects can still arise.

What are the side effects?

Even though lash lifts are generally considered to be safe, they can lead to health issues in rare cases. Speaking to Today, ophthalmologist Dr. Melissa Toyos confirmed that lash lifts can cause damage as a result of "ocular exposure to the glue used to secure the silicone pads for curling, the ammonia or other chemicals used to perm the lashes and the preservatives that can come along with it."

Wellness blog No Thanks to Cake confirms that the process can be uncomfortable after trialing a lash lift for herself. The outlet recommends asking for a skin test to ensure that the solutions won't irritate your eyes and avoiding this treatment altogether if you have chronically dry eyes. From an esthetic perspective, a lash lift applied by an inexperienced technician can result in uneven, unruly, and overprocessed lashes. A negative outcome like this will last from four to six weeks until the new lashes grow in.

If would like to try a lash lift, prepare for your appointment by removing all eye makeup and false lashes (via Adean Kingston Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology). Don't curl your lashes 24 hours before treatment, and stop applying mascara 48 hours before. If you have an eye infection, wait until this has completely cleared before booking a lift. Despite the potential side effects, lash lifts are generally safe and successful at making your lashes look incredible. For best results, book your treatment with a reputable and experienced professional.